NOT "Gourmet" Bread Pudding TNT Recipes
There's a great current thread on the Not About Food board titled "You've never had a "____"
My contribution was:
"Never had Bread Pudding, the sweet dessert kind, it wasn't done in my family while growing up. I'd like to try it if someone shared a tried and true recipe that didn't call for a $10 loaf of artisan bread."
Several CH'ers said good bread pudding was/could, even SHOULD be made from leftover cheap store bread, so I'm asking for your TNT recipes that don't ask for high dollar ingrediants.
I can't give you a specific recipe, because I've never made the same twice, but I always make mine with challah. You really can use anything. A good bread, I think, gives better flavor but you can make it up with a yummy custard. I've also had (or seen) bread pudding made with croissants, donuts (talk about overkill) and, as per a number of people below, supermarket french bread. I'd personally avoid pre-sliced supermarket bread simply because I think the big chunks of bread are integral to good pudding texture. So I'd avoid sliced bread.
I've made this many times with cheap white loaf bread. I adapted this from my Mother-in-law's recipe - she'd use twice as much vanilla and certainly not Ina's "good vanilla" give her the store brand imitation stuff. No high dollar ingredients here - you certainly don't want to put $30 bourbon into the sauce, I use Evan Williams 10yr old these days. But I always use Bourbon, not just any whiskey.
R.B.’s Bread Pudding
2/3 c sugar
1 T vanilla
Approximately 8 oz white bread 1/4 “ cubes
1 12 oz can evaporated milk, rinsed with half can of whole milk
1/2 stick butter
3/4 c raisins (cover with half hot water, half bourbon and microwave 90 seconds, let sit until raisins plump up, then drain)
1/4 t salt
Beat eggs, add sugar, salt, milk, vanilla and melted butter. Fold in bread cubes, let sit 30 minutes. Mixture should be fluid, but not so thin that raisins will sink to the bottom. Add more whole milk, if necessary. Fold in raisins. Pour into 9X9 sprayed pan. Bake in water bath at 350 for 50-60 minutes until set. Omit water bath if you like crunchy corner pieces.
R.B.’s Whiskey Sauce for Bread Pudding
1/2 can evaporated milk
1 stick butter
1 c sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 c bourbon
Cook in double boiler for 10-13 minutes until thickened.
I freeze all my old bread and periodically just more or less dump it together. Remember Bread Pudding is similar to French Toast in that its a way to refresh 'wasted' bread. I have tried a number of recipes, and found that the simpler ones tend to come out better. At this point, I mostly just glance at a recipe (betty crocker does fine) for basic egg/milk porportions, mix it with my bread (usually I need more milk and egg to bread than the recipe calls for since my bread is quite dry) until nice and soggy, flavor as I like (always sugar and vanilla, sometimes cinnamon, raisins) and thats that. Its actually fairly foolproof.
I absolutely love bread pudding. To me, real bread pudding is the crispy bread top, the soft bread bottom that's soaked up the custard, and the direct bottom: the silky, smooth, creamy custard. It's just a lovely blend of textures and rich, comforting flavors. While I love New Orleans style bread pudding, to me, it just never hits the spot the way a real custard-y bread pudding should. New Orleans style tends to be a delicious dense sort of bread product but not so much pudding. Bread pudding is one of the things I love but never have made: the greatest, home-style bread pudding I've ever had was in Vegas: Steve Wynn's recipe at the Mirage and his other hotels. I found the recipe which had favorable reviews and I'm sure could be halved. http://www.recipelink.com/mf/14/8736 Good luck. I hope you enjoy bread pudding.
Oh no sorry, I 'm not saying that. I just couldn't think of the right words but your description of cake-like is what I think is spot on. New Orleans style is cake-like and I guess to me, who enjoys the weird cafeteria style with the slices of bread on top, that's just not the comfort of what bread pudding is. I guess it's a regional difference in ideals or something. No offense to New Orleans bread pudding either, which tastes fantastic.
Sorry, I really don't know how to describe it. To me it seems like a cake because it retains its shape but it's not dense like a cake. I don't know, sorry, maybe what I had wasn't even New Orleans style but some other kind and they just lied to me. I really just don't like those sort bread puddings that still have a bread texture. I grew up eating in Vegas many times a year and that bread pudding is what has become my default, home-y bread pudding. Any other just isn't as good.
This recipe is what my friend Julie, who is from New Orleans, uses. Personally I would use a little less milk for my taste, it was SO soft and light it didn't feel cakey enough for my Yankee tongue -- anyhow, all the ingredients would be just fine from a WinnDixie or something at that level. Other than the liquor -- although here in New Orleans we can actually buy liquor basically anywhere :)
1 day-old french loaf (just the normal long french bread at the supermarket) ripped into pieces
1 quart milk (we used skim, I'm sure whole would have been delicious)
2 cups sugar
1 cup raisins (optional)
3 TB melted margarine
Add ingredients in the order listed, mixing everything together with your hands. Bake... hmn, around 350 I guess. It took a while, you basically bake it until it doesn't jiggle too much.
1 cup sugar
1 stick melted margarine
whiskey to taste
Beat together the egg and sugar until white and smooth, then add margarine, then Whiskey. The egg is uncooked of course but if you pour it over the bread pudding when it's piping hot, it should kill anything still living in there.
From my decade in New Orleans, Adriennes is pretty conventional (and spot on).
I never measured amounts.
Take stale white bread or even cinnamon raisin bread. (Frozen left overs can do as well.)
Beat a couple of eggs with about a cup of milk per egg.
Soak the bread in the egg and milk mixture. Add some sugar. Maybe a quarter of a cup per cup of milk.'
Raisins? Soak them in water first.
Put in a greased pyrex dish. If the bread isn't really sopping wet, add some more milk. Grate some nutmeg and mix it in , or add some cinnamon. Your call.
Grate some butter over the surface.
Cook around 350 for as long as it takes. (The not jiggling part is a good way to test done ness).
Depending on how fresh the eggs are and how light the bread is, you may get a souffle effect.
And the whiskey sauce above is really good but I tend to cook it in a sort of creme anglais with some milk or cream and add the whiskey after it cools.